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Authors: Marie Grall-Bronnec, Samuel Bulteau, Caroline Victorri-Vigneau, Gaëlle Bouju and Anne Sauvaget

Open access
Authors: Aline Wéry, Kim Vogelaere, Gaëlle Challet-Bouju, François-Xavier Poudat, Julie Caillon, Delphine Lever, Joël Billieux and Marie Grall-Bronnec

Background and aims

Research on sexual addiction flourished during the last decade, promoted by the development of an increased number of online sexual activities. Despite the accumulation of studies, however, evidence collected in clinical samples of treatment-seeking people remains scarce. The aim of this study was to describe the characteristics (socio-demographics, sexual habits, and comorbidities) of self-identified “sexual addicts.”

Methods

The sample was composed of 72 patients who consulted an outpatient treatment center regarding their sexual behaviors. Data were collected through a combination of structured interviewing and self-report measures.

Results

Most patients were males (94.4%) aged 20–76 years (mean 40.3 ± 10.9). Endorsement of sexual addiction diagnosis varied from 56.9% to 95.8% depending on the criteria used. The sexual behaviors reported to have the highest degree of functional impairment were having multiple sexual partners (56%), having unprotected sexual intercourse (51.9%), and using cybersex (43.6%). Ninety percent of patients endorsed a comorbid psychiatric diagnosis, and 60.6% presented at least one paraphilia.

Conclusions

Results showed highly different profiles in terms of sexual preferences and behaviors, as well as comorbidities involved. These findings highlight the need to develop tailored psychotherapeutic interventions by taking into account the complexity and heterogeneity of the disorder.

Open access
Authors: Nicolas A. Bonfils, Marie Grall-Bronnec, Julie Caillon, Frédéric Limosin, Amine Benyamina, Henri-Jean Aubin and Amandine Luquiens

Background and aims

Problem gambling is characterized by high stigma and self-stigma, making relevant measurement of the burden of the disorder complex. The aim of our qualitative study was to describe health-related quality of life (HRQOL) impacted by problem gambling from the patients’ perspective.

Methods

We conducted 6 focus groups with 25 current or lifetime at-risk problem gamblers to identify key domains of quality of life impacted by problem gambling. A content analysis from the focus groups data was conducted using Alceste© software, using descendant hierarchical classification analysis, to obtain stable classes and the significant presences of reduced forms. The class of interest, detailing the core of impacted quality of life, was described using a cluster analysis.

Results

Thematic content analysis identified three stable classes. Class 1 contained the interviewers’ speech. Class 3 was composed of the vocabulary related to gambling practice, games and gambling venues (casino, horse betting, etc.). Class 2 described the core of impact of gambling on quality of life and corresponded to 43% of the analyzed elementary context units. This analysis revealed seven key domains of impact of problem gambling: loneliness, financial pressure, relationships deterioration, feeling of incomprehension, preoccupation with gambling, negative emotions, and avoidance of helping relationships.

Conclusions

We identified, beyond objective damage, the subjective distress felt by problem gamblers over the course of the disorder and in the helping process, marked in particular by stigma and self-stigma. Four impacted HRQOL areas were new and gambling-specific: loneliness, feeling of incomprehension, avoidance of helping relationships, and preoccupation with gambling. These results support the relevance of developing, in a next step, a specific HRQOL scale in the context of gambling.

Open access
Authors: Anne Sauvaget, Samuel Bulteau, Alice Guilleux, Juliette Leboucher, Anne Pichot, Pierre Valrivière, Jean-Marie Vanelle, Véronique Sébille-Rivain and Marie Grall-Bronnec

Background

Craving is a core symptom of addictive disorders, such as pathological gambling for example. Over the last decade, several studies have assessed the efficacy of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in the addiction field, which triggers the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) to decrease craving. The STIMJEU study investigated whether a single session of low-frequency (LF, i.e., 1 Hz) rTMS applied to the right DLPFC reduced cue-induced gambling craving in a sample of treatment-seeking pathological gamblers.

Methods

Thirty patients received both active and sham rTMS in random order and were blinded to the condition in a within-subject crossover design. Outcome measures included self-reported gambling craving (Visual Analog Scale and Gambling Craving Scale) and physiological measures (heart rate and blood pressure).

Results

The rTMS sessions were associated with a significant decrease in the gambling urge, regardless of whether the session was active or sham. When controlling cue-induced craving levels, no effects were observed on craving for active rTMS. Overall, rTMS was well-tolerated, and the credibility of the sham procedure was assessed and appeared to be appropriate.

Conclusions

We failed to demonstrate the specific efficacy of one session of LF rTMS to decrease cue-induced craving in pathological gamblers. A strong placebo-effect and rTMS parameters may partly explain these results. Yet, we are convinced that rTMS remains a promising therapeutic method. Further studies are required to examine its potential effect.

Open access
Authors: Lucia Romo, Cindy Legauffre, Alice Guilleux, Marc Valleur, David Magalon, Mélina Fatséas, Isabelle Chéreau-Boudet, Amandine Luquiens, Jean-Luc Vénisse, JEU Group, Marie Grall-Bronnec and Gaëlle Challet-Bouju

Introduction

The primary outcome of our study was to assess the links between the level of cognitive distortions and the severity of gambling disorder. We also aimed at assessing the links between patient gambling trajectories and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Materials and methods

The study population (n = 628) was comprised of problem and non-problem gamblers of both sexes between 18 and 65 years of age, who reported gambling on at least one occasion during the previous year. Data encompassed socio-demographic characteristics, gambling habits, the South Oaks Gambling Screen, the Gambling Attitudes and Beliefs Survey – 23, the Wender Utah Rating Scale – Child, and the Adult ADHD Self-report Scale.

Results

The cognitive distortions with the greatest correlation to the severity of gambling disorder were the “Chasing” and “Emotions.” These two dimensions were able to distinguish between problem gamblers seeking treatment or not. While age of onset of gambling and length of gambling practice were not associated with the level of distorted cognitions, a period of abstinence of at least 1 month was associated with a lower level of distorted cognitions. The presence of ADHD resulted in a higher level of distorted cognitions.

Conclusion

Cognitive work is essential to the prevention, and the treatment, of pathological gambling, especially with respect to emotional biases and chasing behavior. The instauration of an abstinence period of at least 1 month under medical supervision could be a promising therapeutic lead for reducing gambling-related erroneous thoughts and for improving care strategies of pathological gamblers.

Open access
Authors: Mohamed Ali Gorsane, Michel Reynaud, Jean-Luc Vénisse, Cindy Legauffre, Marc Valleur, David Magalon, Mélina Fatséas, Isabelle Chéreau-Boudet, Alice Guilleux, JEU Group, Gaëlle Challet-Bouju and Marie Grall-Bronnec

Background and aims

Gambling disorder-related illegal acts (GDRIA) are often crucial events for gamblers and/or their entourage. This study was designed to determine the predictive factors of GDRIA.

Methods

Participants were 372 gamblers reporting at least three DSM-IV-TR (American Psychiatric Association, 2000) criteria. They were assessed on the basis of sociodemographic characteristics, gambling-related characteristics, their personality profile, and psychiatric comorbidities. A multiple logistic regression was performed to identify the relevant predictors of GDRIA and their relative contribution to the prediction of the presence of GDRIA.

Results

Multivariate analysis revealed a higher South Oaks Gambling Scale score, comorbid addictive disorders, and a lower level of income as GDRIA predictors.

Discussion and conclusion

An original finding of this study was that the comorbid addictive disorder effect might be mediated by a disinhibiting effect of stimulant substances on GDRIA. Further studies are necessary to replicate these results, especially in a longitudinal design, and to explore specific therapeutic interventions.

Open access
Authors: Gaëlle Challet-Bouju, Bastien Perrot, Lucia Romo, Marc Valleur, David Magalon, Mélina Fatséas, Isabelle Chéreau-Boudet, Amandine Luquiens, JEU Group, Marie Grall-Bronnec and Jean-Benoit Hardouin

Background and aims

The aim of this study was to test the screening properties of several combinations of items from gambling scales, in order to harmonize screening of gambling problems in epidemiological surveys. The objective was to propose two brief screening tools (three items or less) for a use in interviews and self-administered questionnaires.

Methods

We tested the screening properties of combinations of items from several gambling scales, in a sample of 425 gamblers (301 non-problem gamblers and 124 disordered gamblers). Items tested included interview-based items (Pathological Gambling section of the DSM-IV, lifetime history of problem gambling, monthly expenses in gambling, and abstinence of 1 month or more) and self-report items (South Oaks Gambling Screen, Gambling Attitudes, and Beliefs Survey). The gold standard used was the diagnosis of a gambling disorder according to the DSM-5.

Results

Two versions of the Rapid Screener for Problem Gambling (RSPG) were developed: the RSPG-Interview (RSPG-I), being composed of two interview items (increasing bets and loss of control), and the RSPG-Self-Assessment (RSPG-SA), being composed of three self-report items (chasing, guiltiness, and perceived inability to stop).

Discussion and conclusions

We recommend using the RSPG-SA/I for screening problem gambling in epidemiological surveys, with the version adapted for each purpose (RSPG-I for interview-based surveys and RSPG-SA for self-administered surveys). This first triage of potential problem gamblers must be supplemented by further assessment, as it may overestimate the proportion of problem gamblers. However, a first triage has the great advantage of saving time and energy in large-scale screening for problem gambling.

Open access

Including gaming disorder in the ICD-11: The need to do so from a clinical and public health perspective

Commentary on: A weak scientific basis for gaming disorder: Let us err on the side of caution (van Rooij et al., 2018)

Authors: Hans-Jürgen Rumpf, Sophia Achab, Joël Billieux, Henrietta Bowden-Jones, Natacha Carragher, Zsolt Demetrovics, Susumu Higuchi, Daniel L. King, Karl Mann, Marc Potenza, John B. Saunders, Max Abbott, Atul Ambekar, Osman Tolga Aricak, Sawitri Assanangkornchai, Norharlina Bahar, Guilherme Borges, Matthias Brand, Elda Mei-Lo Chan, Thomas Chung, Jeff Derevensky, Ahmad El Kashef, Michael Farrell, Naomi A. Fineberg, Claudia Gandin, Douglas A. Gentile, Mark D. Griffiths, Anna E. Goudriaan, Marie Grall-Bronnec, Wei Hao, David C. Hodgins, Patrick Ip, Orsolya Király, Hae Kook Lee, Daria Kuss, Jeroen S. Lemmens, Jiang Long, Olatz Lopez-Fernandez, Satoko Mihara, Nancy M. Petry, Halley M. Pontes, Afarin Rahimi-Movaghar, Florian Rehbein, Jürgen Rehm, Emanuele Scafato, Manoi Sharma, Daniel Spritzer, Dan J. Stein, Philip Tam, Aviv Weinstein, Hans-Ulrich Wittchen, Klaus Wölfling, Daniele Zullino and Vladimir Poznyak

The proposed introduction of gaming disorder (GD) in the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) has led to a lively debate over the past year. Besides the broad support for the decision in the academic press, a recent publication by van Rooij et al. (2018) repeated the criticism raised against the inclusion of GD in ICD-11 by Aarseth et al. (2017). We argue that this group of researchers fails to recognize the clinical and public health considerations, which support the WHO perspective. It is important to recognize a range of biases that may influence this debate; in particular, the gaming industry may wish to diminish its responsibility by claiming that GD is not a public health problem, a position which maybe supported by arguments from scholars based in media psychology, computer games research, communication science, and related disciplines. However, just as with any other disease or disorder in the ICD-11, the decision whether or not to include GD is based on clinical evidence and public health needs. Therefore, we reiterate our conclusion that including GD reflects the essence of the ICD and will facilitate treatment and prevention for those who need it.

Open access